Arts and Entertainment

A sideways look at the world of music

Album reviews: Bombay Bicycle Club, Broken Bells, Suzanne Vega, Breton

Bombay Bicycle Club “So Long, See You” (Tomorrow Island)

Book review: Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound by Trevor Cox

Last month’s news that the Inchindown oil storage tanks in Scotland have entered the record books as the man-made structure with the longest echo – a resonating 112 seconds – is very largely due to the author of this book. Cox, a professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford, embarked on a quest to find not only the longest echo (or more correctly, reverberation) in the world, but also the noisiest, the quietest and even the most musical places around the globe.

The Bonus Track: Ashley Beedle, The Heartbreaks, Anna Calvi, Noah Francis Johnson, Katy B

A sideways look at the world of music

Classical album reviews: Avi Avital, Teodor Currentzis, Voces8

Avi Avital "Between Worlds" (Deutsche Grammophon)

The Saturday Quiz answers

Here are the answers to this week's quiz...

Novelists writing ballads? Song-writers dashing off novels? What does it all mean?

Does success in one genre guarantee it in another?

Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the first Back to the Future film in 1985

Back to the Future musical to hit London's West End in 2015

Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale are reuniting with Jamie Lloyd directing

Direction and design by Mark Holthusen, words and music by Martyn Jacques, performed by the Tiger Lillies and Laura Caldow, commissioned by Opera North Projects.

Lulu - A Murder Ballad, theatre review: 'Not so much dark as pitch black'

Performed by The Tiger Lillies and Laura Caldow

French electronica act Daft Punk have been photographed at LAX airport minus their famous robotic helmets

Daft Punk unmasked: Grammy winners spotted without robotic helmets at LAX airport

The French electronica duo were photographed while going through security

Justin Bieber arrest latest: Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford defends ‘successful’ fellow Canadian

Justin Bieber: Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford defends ‘successful’ fellow Canadian

Ford has hit the headlines almost as frequently as the troubled teen for a string of embarrassing public incidents

White Beech: The Rainforest Years by Germaine Greer; Book review

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Live at the Brixton Academy by Simon Parkes and JS Rafaeli

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

White Beech: The Rainforest Years by Germaine Greer; book review

Mohammed Ali  used to boast that when boxing,  he would float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. So it is with Germiane Greer. She writes lightly, gracefully even when agitating for a cause. But the words still sting. And unsettle. Here she consciously creates a quasi-religious epic out of a part of her remarkable life when she decided to restore a small, wrecked rainforest in Australia, her homeland. The tone is apocalyptic, themes existential and critical: (wo)man not against, but ardently for ITALS PREVIOUS WD wondrous, pitiless and predatory nature. She, the Lionheart, is awed, meets devastation, fears cataclysms, intuits prophecies, bears historical and biological guilt,  seeks redemption and takes stupendous, fervent  action. It really is some story.

Blink and you'll miss it: Medallion man Prince

The Week in Music: Another purple reign as Prince gets back in the groove

Talk about suspense. Further to the news that Prince is soon releasing PLECTRUMELECTRUM, his first album with all-female rock trio 3RDEYEGIRL, a short teaser for their track "PRETZELBODYLOGIC" went up on YouTube this week. Warning: blink and you'll miss it. The album was written and recorded in Prince's Paisley Park recording studio in Minneapolis, London and New York. Meanwhile, at time of writing, we are still waiting to know exactly which "iconic venues in and around London" Prince will be playing on the Hit and Run Tour any time from Monday. Keep your diary clear…

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada